Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

Archive for October, 2013

Nonono Yesyesyes

Posted by xneverwherex on October 24, 2013

Nonono
Helado Negro
Rickshaw Stop
October 23, 2013

Nonono played their first show in San Francisco last night on their first tour of the States. Luckily for them, they’re playing Live 105’s Not So Silent Night, because I would have pegged them to become a one-hit wonder. How badly I wanted to like them, but the band for the most part was just boring and the words most people hate to hear – forgettable.

Stina

Nonono

Stina W├Ąppling, lead singer, chatted it up about how excited she was to be in San Francisco. She looked like she had just run from somewhere else and suddenly remembered she had a show to perform. After coming to the stage late (bathroom or so people muttered), and continuing to keep people wait, she finally arrived in a little black dress with her sweater wrapped around her waist and sneakers. I had actually thought I had stepped into the movie ‘Working Girl’ as she wore her sneakers with her nylons.

The band was a tight-knit 3some, with a really talented bassist. Astma & Rocwell were the other 2 members. While I didn’t think Stina sounded great on all of the songs, she did kill the single ‘Pumpkin Blood’ which was easily the highlight. The set was quite short and had a range of upbeat dance songs as well as much more subdued sad songs. Overall, it was just a bit lackluster.

Helado Negro

On the other hand, I had forgotten about Helado Negro (couldnt remember if I had even liked him or not). Helado Negro, Roberto Lange, now calls Crown Heights (Brooklyn) home but grew up in South Florida. His music has a very Florida feel. Everything that might emanate from living in Florida is channeled into his music. He sings in Spanish, and even if you don’t understand all the lyrics (or any) you can feel his music.

It has this gorgeous feel of tropical weather, humidity, heat. It makes you just want to close your eyes and move with the music. Its just him on the stage, with his computer, and its such a heart-felt performance. Everything about the music is almost dream-like. It just takes you somewhere and you get lost in it. Its definitely no surprise that he remixed Bear in Heaven’s album. Check out ‘Dance Ghost’ — a great name for a song and describes it perfectly.

He talks to the crowd, trying to engage them, but clearly San Franciscans are too cool for school. A major disappointment that the front of the room, would just not shut up. Its not even that – no one seemed to care. He tried to have fun with it saying something like ‘just add some hips in addition to your lips’. And of course, a cute joke about getting a taste of black ice cream (helado negro).

Roberto was very friendly. After the set, he seemed quite happy that at least some of us enjoyed it. I definitely feel his music has grown since seeing him 4 years ago. And I would definitely see him again – perhaps next time he will get a crowd who appreciates what he’s doing.

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Stereophonics Take on San Francisco Bay

Posted by xneverwherex on October 12, 2013

Stereophonics
The Wind + The Wave
The Fillmore
October 8, 2013

It felt like it had been forever since the Welsh band Stereophonics graced the shores on this side of the pond. They were in town for their 8th studio album, Graffiti on the Train. I was incredibly tired after having come home from DC – and the place that should be known as hell on earth (Atlanta airport) – and wasnt sure I’d be able to last the entire night. But I should have remembered the energy that the band brings to all their shows.

Stereophonics

The band was at the end of their tour with just 1 more date left after the SF show. The band had so much energy and clearly loved being in San Francisco. They started off with ‘Catacomb’ off the new album which was the perfect intro on a fairly dark stage and gritty guitars and Kelly’s incredible gruff vocals. It had a hint of BRMC and was so fitting for an intro. The band then went into ‘Superman’ which had the crowd dancing and singing along.

Kelly Jones, lead singer, wrote this album and is one of the greatest storytellers in his songs. Its easy to get lost in the lyrics. So it was really great when he started talking about the song he wrote in the San Francisco bay (obv Have a Nice Day). He reminisced about writing the song and the cab ride. It was great as everyone sang along to that song.

The band played nearly the entire new album and played a lot off their prior albums. Kelly sounds as great as ever with the most powerful lush vocals Ive ever heard. Ive always said he had one of the greatest voices live – and its really hard to compare most to him. He sounds as great live as he does on album and thats a rarity these days. Adam Zindani, lead guitarist, is just an amazing guitarist. He was really into it and would occasionally grace the middle of the stage with some insane playing. The crowd would go nuts. He is such a charmer, smiling at everyone and just having an awesome time. He even made sure to give the kid in the front his guitar pick (as well as the drummer).

Some of the highlights of the night for me was my favorite song “Local Boy in the Photograph” — which has always been such a beautiful, sad song. “Vegas 2 Times” is always a great song to hear and Im glad that this was played. I’ve always loved the album Just Enough Education To Perform so its great to still hear so many songs from that album.

The show itself was just awesome. So many great moments in the show from Kelly talking about the fan in the shirt that stood out (prob red?) – and then playing Dakota for him at the end was quite awesome. Talking about the great times in San Francisco — it was all just so great. He even took a moment out to thank the openers.

The Wind + The Wave

The Wind + The Wave from Austin were really great. A duo, who commented on their lack of drummer (some sorta ‘inside’ joke about twins and death), were really entertaining. The band had lots of personality and the guy had some zingers! The woman, Patti? maybe, had a really great voice. They had a bluesy, alt-country, sound and were so easy to fall in love with and just really enjoy. Theyre on my ‘must-see’ list to check out whenever they come around again. And how awesome that it was their first show in SF ever and the crowd seemed to love them – even if it was only drunk guys ogling over the singer. At least they made noise and were enthusiastic.

If you havent heard them, let alone see them, theyre VERY worth checking out. Their first album will be out this January (or maybe February), but it is definitely worth giving them a listen.

Setlist:
Catacomb
Superman
Thousand Trees
Graffiti on the Train
We Share The Same Sun
Indian Summer
Have A Nice Day
Vegas 2 Times
Mr Writer
In A Moment
Same Size Feet
Nothing Precious At All
Maybe Tomorrow
Roll the Dice
Violin & Tambourines
Been Caught Cheating
Just Looking
Local Boy in the Photograph

Caravan Holiday
I Stopped To Fill My Car Up
The Bartender & The Thief
Dakota

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